Ten Arrowsmith Naturalist volunteers surveyed the PQB Wildlife Management Area from 12:30 pm to 2:30 pm. Unfortunately the tide was farther out than what is ideal and rain showers reduced visibility.
Area 1 North: 6 Brant were observed flying at the Seaside Nature Pavilion. At the Little Qualicum Estuary there were 18 Brant visible on the gravel bars and ~300 gulls near the river mouth. An eagle finally put all the birds up and we were hoping for more Brant but only 300 to 400 dabbling ducks appeared from behind the bar. mostly American Wigeon.
Area 2 Central: There was little to report at the stops in the central area. Highlights were, a murmuration of 200+ Dunlin, a feeding frenzy of Bonaparte Gulls, and an observation of 4 Orca.
Area 3 South: At 12:30 on Rathtrevor Beach 500 Brant were observed. At Parksville Beach the highlight was 40 Bufflehead in the Bay. A second count at 2:30pm on Rathtrevor Beach found the 500 Brant plus 230 more off shore at Brant Point. Shortly after this beach walkers finally chased the Brant off. Joining together, the two groups flew offshore and settled ~ 1Km out.
The total Brant count for April 18 was 754.
Our next count will be Tuesday, Apr. 25.
Photo credit Jim Thorne